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ECRI declares US tipping into double dip


mankap
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ECRI claims that they have accurately predicted recessions for last 20 years and have not made any false calls.

I regularly keep an eye on leading indicators which they post on every Friday.

 

http://businesscycle.com/reports_indexes/reportsummarydetails/1091

 

If memory serves me right, ECRI have an outstanding track record in calling turning points in the economy. No other economic forecasting outfit comes even close. Can someone with access to their service confirm this?

 

He is not given to making fist pounding calls (and he unequivocally disagreed with Dave Rosenberg's double-dip call last year) but this is as close to it as I have ever seen from him:

 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/30/bloomberg_articlesLSC7L50UQVI9.DTL

 

"The U.S. economy is tipping into a new recession," Achuthan, the group's chief operations officer in New York, said in a radio interview today on "Bloomberg Surveillance" with Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt. "You have wildfire among the leading indicators across the board. Non-financial services plunging, manufacturing plunging, exports plunging. That is such a deadly combination."

 

"We at least have a couple of quarters of worsening economy in front of us," Achuthan said. "So if you think this is a bad economy, you haven't seen anything yet."

 

On the program, he points out that his call is not dependent on a market dislocating event in Europe (which their models can't predict). He likened it to the recession call they made in 2008 before Lehman (which, again, they could not know would happen).

 

The difference between the rail indicators and the ones Buffett quotes from BRK's businesses is that they are coincident indicators compared to ECRI's leading indicators.

 

I believe he also mentioned that their Future Inflation Gauge was turning down for Europe - another bit of good news for FFH's defaltion bet.

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They were right on the verge of declaring one last year and I don't know why they didn't since their indicator was a really large minus figure or one that you would see clearly in past recessions. Had it not been for QE2 and the Tepper rally, they would have declared one. They were just a few weeks away from doing such, but then the market turned and they disappeared.

 

So basically, I decided to completely ignore this bunch on a go forward basis.

 

I truly hope that Buffett is right on no recession and he is not just playing politics. If not, this is looking like a 2nd Great Depression guys.

 

Cardboard

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How come they don't translate their track record of predictions into a track record of investment results?

 

For the same reason Steve Jobs doesn't translate his track record of making outstanding consumer electronics into making outstanding cars?  :) 

 

I'm guessing Achuthan makes a pretty good living from economic forecasting. I supect there is a good reason why people pay up for ECRI's forecasts when you can get them free from the likes of Goldman, Merrill and gang.

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This is all quite interesting to me. I never thought we left the first recession and tend to agree with Buffett, we are bumping along pulling out slowly. What I never accounted for was the rally was based on a bull market in the economy. Something to keep in mind in the future.

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They were right on the verge of declaring one last year and I don't know why they didn't since their indicator was a really large minus figure or one that you would see clearly in past recessions. Cardboard

 

You are probably referring to the instance I mentioned when Rosenberg pointed out that everytime that ECRI index hit a certain negative level a recession always ensued and he was questioning why ECRI refused to make the recession call. I believe Achuthan explained then that rather than using just one data point, they look for pronounced and pervasive signals to avoid false signals. This is a process that they have consistently employed for decades so it is not a case of them changing their argument to fit the facts.

 

The fact is that Achuthan was right not to make that call and Rosenberg has developed something of a perma-bear reputation (which he is not). There is no guarantee that they will be right this time but their track record is certainly good enough to justify paying attention.

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I think we will have to see if Achuthan made the right call in coming weeks.

He was right atleast in 2010, when economy was tanking and he said that economy is not going to recession.

Acuthan has better track record than most of the forecaster who you see on TV.

ECRI weekly leading indicator last year were worse than what they are today.

You can see history of ECRI leading indicator on their web site www.businesscycle.com

You can see ECRI weekly indicators in the excel sheet in the link below.

 

http://businesscycle.com/reports_indexes/allindexes

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I am of the opinion that baring a financial collapse in Europe any recession is going to look a lot like the recovery. When the world is awash in liquidity and no one is allowed to fail the lows are higher and the highs are lower. Think Japan but without the insane security prices to work through.

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At the end of WW2 the US debt to GNP was approximately where we are right now.  Income taxes for 20 plus years were MUCH higher than they are now. Europe was destroyed as was Japan and good portions of the far east. With govt. debt at horrendous levels and income taxes at levels which would give any of us night mares America experienced a 20 year explosion in growth. I refuse to accept that America can not continue to thrive and prosper.  Open up immigration especially the right kind , if you are educated and have some dough wellcome. solves the foreclosure crises. Stop the illegal immigration problem which reduces the unemployment rate immediately and also improve govt revenues because illegal immigrants mostly work in the cash economy . Tell China that its time to join the world. The single biggest road block in the world right now is the Chinese refusing to allow their currency to rise. Interest rates would immediately rise before you do that you must let every underwater homeowner who is current to either refinance at current rates with recourse terms or hand in their keys. Reduce the corporate tax rate so companies do not have the same incentive to play the international tax arbitration scheme but insist that dollars overseas are returned to shareholders who mostly reside in America. Introduce a national VAT tax and use half of the dough for bridges roads schools hospitals and half for deficit reduction.

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